|Discovery:||first mentioned, 1779 Strange|
|History:||Earliest publication by Strange, Archaeologia 1779 (not consulted).|
Iolo Morganwg, 1798, reproduced in Allen/1893, 326, 328: `I have already observed that the author of the additions to Camden takes notice only of the monumental stone behind the church erected by Samson to the memory of Iltutus [LTWIT/2]. This circumstance proves that the other ancient inscribed stones [including this one] were not then to be seen...About the year 1730, as I am informed, Mr. Thomas Morgan, a schoolmaster at Llantwit, found an ancient cross of the same age and style of sculpture as that of Iltutus, in an old, ruinious place where tradition shows the places where seven churches are said to have been. Possibly they might have been the chapels of so many separate colleges, or societies of monks, or students, which might have been the seven halls mentioned in the foregoing account of Mr. Nicholls by Sir Edward Stradling. The ancient cross Mr. Thomas Morgan placed before the church door February 5th 1812; Henry Tucker, being clerk, had it carried into the old church'.
Rhys/1873, 9: `Aug. 30. -- The rector kindly accompanied me to Llantwit-Major, where we knew there were several inscriptions'.
Westwood/1879, 11--12: `This elegant work of early art is preserved in the porch of Llantwit Church...It will scarcely be believed that in one of my visits to Llantwit I found this fine monument used as a bench on which a stone-mason was chipping a modern gravestone...This stone was erroneously mentioned by Mr. Strange in the Archaeologia (vol. vi. p. 25) as serving as the foot-bridge before Court David House, near Margam. His figure of it, P1. III. fig. 6, is extraordinarily imperfect. Donovan gave a better figure in his Tour in Wales, i. p. 343, and plate annex'.
Halliday/1900, 148: `the pre-Norman stones have been carefully set up at the western end of the church, and can now be seen from all sides'.
RCAHMW/1976, 49--50: `First recorded as lying in the churchyard of St. Illtud's Church (possibly not its original location) and, after standing in the porch, re-set upright within the W. nave of the church.
 Correspondence to Strange 1770 (Bodleian Lib., MS. Gough, Wales 8, fo. 79v.), `was said to be brought there from the great house' (i.e. Ty-mawr); cf. Iolo Morganwg (1798), found about 1730 `in an old ruinous place where tradition shows the places where seven churches are said to have been built' (quoted in Arch. Camb., 1893, p. 328)'.
|Geology:||Macalister/1949, 155: `sandstone'.|
Nash-Williams/1950, 140: `Local grit, apparently Carboniferous'.
RCAHMW/1976, 49: `local gritstone'.
|Dimensions:||1.9 x 0.81 x 0.15 (RCAHMW/1976)|
Nash-Williams/1950, 140: `All the Llantwit Major monuments are preserved in the church at the W. end of the nave'.
|Form:||circular wheeled cross|
Westwood/1879, 11: `It measures 4 feet in height, the middle of the basal portion 28 inches, and the middle of the top cross 31 inches wide, and is 6 inches thick'.
Allen/1889, 125: `The last points we have to consider are the forms of the crosses and the character of the ornament. The five sculptured monuments at Llantwit exhibit three different types; the wheel-cross, the rectangular cross-shaft, and the cylindrical pillar. The crosses of Samson, Samuel, and Ebisar, and of Houelt, the son of Res, are of the so-called wheel shape, consisting of a tapering shaft of rectangular section, surmounted by a circular head, shaped like a drum'.
Macalister/1949, 155: `A slab...it is cut into the shape of a cross with solid wheel, standing on a broad stem expanding downward'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 140: `Monolithic disk-headed slab-cross, with solid quadrate wheel-head and splayed shaft. 72" h. (overall, above butt) x 26" w. at bottom tapering to 18" at neck x 6" t.; diam. of head, 32"...The cross is decorated on both faces (? and originally on the edges) with carved patterns in low relief, and is also inscribed...the dating of the cross in the late 9th century ranks it with No. 363 as one of the earliest of the Welsh sculptured crosses. The close similarity of the flat calligraphic style of its decoration and of the motifs used to those of the almost contemporary Berechtuire slab at Tullylease, Co. Cork, identify the monument as probably the work of an Irish or Irish-trained sculptor.
 The stepped or `quadrate' wheel-cross in the Greek (i.e. equal-armed) form is found five or six times in S. Wales (Nos. 147, 155, 220, 231 (?), 234, 263), three times at Clonmacnois (? only) in Ireland (see CMS, [Macalister/1909] nos. 78, 85, 86), and perhaps only once elsewhere -- at Clyne in Sutherlandshire (ECMS, iii, [Allen/Anderson/1903] p. 51). The Latin form of the wheel-cross occurs more commonly-in Ireland again (at Clonmacnois and, as a free-standing `high cross', dated 11th century, at Roscrea (LSI, ii, [Henry/1933] pl. 107)), and in E. Scotland (principally Forfarshire), but is apparently absent in England (including Cornwall) and the I. of Man. The stepped cross, both Greek and Latin, without the wheel, shows a broadly similar distribution. … cf no. 210 above.
 COIM, pl. xiv c [CISP see now TULYS/1]'.
RCAHMW/1976, 49, `The solid head and shaft though fractured and incomplete at the edges are formed of one slab of local gritstone, 1.9m tall (with part of the concealed base butt extending a further 23cm) and 15cm thick; the disc-head is 81cm in diameter, and the shaft is splayed in width from 43cm at the neck to 66cm (originally about 1.0 m) at the base. The main faces (E. and W.) and the rim of the head have carved decoration in low relief together with an inscription'.
|Condition:||incomplete , some|
Westwood/1879, 11: `The head of the cross has unfortunately been broken off, but the piece has been preserved...The lower part of the basal part of the stone has been chipped off to make it more square, so that several of the letters at the beginning of the lines of the inscription are lost'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 140: `The head is fractured in two pieces and otherwise damaged; the lower edges and angle-mouldings of the shaft are likewise mostly fractured away'.
RCAHMW/1976, 49: `The solid head and shaft though fractured and incomplete at the edges...the edges of the shaft have been trimmed away'.
|Crosses:||1: equal-armed; outline; expanded; plain; square; none; outer curv; none; decorated|
|Decorations:||geometric ribbon interlace; geometric key pattern|
Westwood/1879, 11: `This elegant work of early art is...elaborately ornamented on both its faces with patterns not unusual in MSS. of the latter part of the seventh, eighth, and first half of the ninth centuries...The edge itself of the top part is likewise ornamented with a Chinese-like pattern found commonly in the best MSS. of the period'.
Allen/1889, 125--126: `The ornament on the Llantwit stones consists of interlaced and key-patterns arranged in panels of the same class as that found in the Irish MSS. of the ninth and tenth centuries. There is none of the spiral decoration which is characteristic of the earlier MSS., sculptured crosses, and ecclesiastical metal work...The key pattern occupying the whole of one face of the cross of Houelt, the son of Res, is one of the finest examples to be found anywhere'.
Macalister/1949, 155--156: `The ornamentation of interlacement and key pattern is shewn on the accompanying drawing, which makes a description unnecessary. The ornamentation is well executed and is in good condition, save for chippings along the edge and a large flake broken from the back, or uninscribed face, of the cross'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 140: `Front. The cross-head comprises five squares of swastika key-pattern..., linked by opposed T's ..., with four-lobed plain twists ... filling the arcs of the wheel and large double-beaded triquetra-knots ... in the interspaces. The shaft below is filled with a double vertical band of well-executed triangular fretwork ... widening towards the bottom so as to fit the splayed face. Below the decoration is a Latin inscription.
Edges. The edge of the disk-head, which alone remains intact, is filled with a narrow double band of slanted T-fret.
Back. The decoration of the head is the same as in front, except that the square panels of the cross are linked by straight, instead of oblique, opposed T's. The decoration of the shaft is disposed vertically: (a) double band of triangular fret-pattern..., but with triple-line spirals); (b) double band of six-cord double-beaded knotwork..., based on the Stafford-knot, ending in loops above and below.
 With the frets not uniform, but becoming increasingly convoluted as they widen towards the bottom.
 A closely similar pattern is seen on the edge of one of the Sancreed (Cornwall) crosses, which also uses the Stafford-knot motif employed on the back of the present monument. 0CC [Langdon/1896], p. 364.
 The use of free end-loops in interlacing was a Coptic feature. Cf. LSI, i, [Henry/1937] p. 96'.
RCAHMW/1976, 49--50: `On the E. face the disc-head is filled with a ringed cross potent within a narrow edge-moulding, the ring being flush with the arm-ends. The squared arm-ends and central square are formed of diaper key-pattern, the connecting arms of paired T-shapes linked to the outer squares only. Each arc of the ring forms a panel within plain edge-moulding, filled with a plain twist in four lobes incorporating single and double pellets. In each sunk inter-arm space is a double-beaded triquetra-knot distorted to fill the panel and incorporating pellets. The face of the shaft consists almost entirely of one splayed panel originally framed by bold angle-mouldings (of which stumps remain) and filled with a triangular key-pattern in two paired bands, incorporating pellets at the base. A Latin inscription (Plate 12) in five horizontal lines completed the face below this...The more worn head and damaged shaft on the W. face are decorated much as the E. face. The disc-head has a similar ringed cross-potent differing only in that the diminutive arms between the squared centre and ends are formed of paired Greek frets. The shaft has two decorative panels, the upper one composed of a triangular key-pattern in double vertical band, looser than the similar design on the E. face; the lower panel, separated by a plain moulding, contains a pair of identical patterns of loose double-beaded knotwork, each consisting of a pair of Stafford knots joined by paired loops above and below.
The decoration of the narrow sides survives only on the rim of the disc-head where it is formed of a double band of triangular key-pattern'.
|Morganwg, I. (1798):||NINOMINEDIPATRISET | PERETURSANTDIANC | [C]RUCEMHOUELAPROPE | ABITPROANIMARESP[-- | [R]ESEUS[--]|
NI NOMINE DIPATRISET PERETUR SANT DIANC [C]RUCEM HOUEL A PROPE ABIT PRO ANIMA RESP[--[R]ESEUS [--]
Allen/1893 328 reading only
|Westwood, J.O. (1879):||--]NINOMINEDI~PATRISE/T | --]PERETUSSANTDIANC | --]UCEMHOUELTPROPE | --]BITPROANIMARESPA | --]ES EUS|
[I]N INOMINE DI PATRIS ET [S]PERETUS SANTDI ANC [CR]UCEM HOUELT PROPE[RA]BIT PRO ANIMA RES PA[TR]ES EUS
Westwood/1876 11--12 reading only
|Allen, R. (1889):||NINOMINEDI~PATRISE/T | SPERETUSSANTDIANC | CRUCEMHOUELTPROPER |
ABITPROAMIMARESPAT | RESEUS|
NI NOMINE DI PATRIS ET SPERETUS SANTDI ANC CRUCEM HOUELT PROPERABIT PRO AMIMA RES PATRES EUS
In the name of God the Father and the Holy Spirit, Houelt (PN) prepared this cross for the soul of Res (PN) his father.
Allen/1889 121--122 reading only
|Rhys, J. (1899):||NINOMINEDI~PATRISE/TF | --]PERETUSSANTDIANC | --]UCEMHOUELTPROPE | --]BITPROANIMARESPA | --]ESEUS|
NI NOMINE DI PATRIS ET F[ILI] [S]PERETUS SANTDI ANC [CR]UCEM HOUELT PROPE[RA]BIT PRO ANIMA RES PA[TR]ES EUS
|Macalister, R.A.S. (1949):||NINOMINEDIPATRISE/TS | PERETUSSANTDIANC | --]UCEMHOUELTPROPE | --]BITPROANIMARESPA | --]ESEUS|
IN NOMINE DI PATRIS ET SPERETUS SANTDI [H]ANC [CR]UCEM HOUELT PROPE[RA]BIT PRO ANIMA RES PA[TR]ES EUS
Macalister/1949 156, Plate LV reading only
|Nash-Williams, V.E. (1950):||NINOMINEDI~PATRISE/TF | --]PERETUSSANTDIANC | --]UCEMHOUELTPROPE | --]BITPROANIMARESP[-- | --]ESEUS|
IN NOMINE D[E]I PATRIS ET F[ILI] [ET S]PERETUS SAN[CT]I [H]ANC [CR]UCEM HOUELT PROPE[RA]BIT PRO ANIMA RES P[ATR][I]S E[I]US
In the Name of God the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This cross Houelt (PN) prepared for the soul of Res (PN) his father.
Nash-Williams/1950 140 reading only
|RCAHMW (1976):||--]NINOMINEDIPATRISE/TS | PERETUSSANTDIANC | --]RUCEMHOUELTPROPE[-- | ABITPROANIMARESPA[-- | RESEUS|
[I]N INOMINE DI PATRIS ET SPERETUS SANTDI ANC [C]RUCEM HOUELT PROPE[R]ABIT PRO ANIMA RES PA[T]RES EUS
In the name of God, the Father and the Holy Spirit, Houelt (PN) prepared this cross for the soul of Res (PN) his father.
RCAHMW/1976 49 reading only
|Position:||ind ; broad ; below cross ; panel|
RomillyAllen/1889, 121: `At the base, in five lines'.
Macalister/1949, 156: `The inscription is in four and a half lines at the base of the cross'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 140: `Latin inscription (Fig. 152), carefully set out in five lines, reading horizontally'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 140: `neatly picked'.
|Date:||866 - 899 (Nash-Williams/1950)|
850 - 899 (RCAHMW/1976)
RCAHMW/1976, 50, `The script and decorative style of the slab-cross accord with a date in the mid or late 9th century.'
|Ling. Notes:||Allen/1889, 123: `On most of the stones at the above places the inscriptions state that the cross was erected in the name of the Father and Son, or of the Most High God, for the benefit of the soul of the erector and for the soul of the deceased. The invocation at the beginning seems to be peculiar to Wales; but the `pro anima' has its equivalent in the `or ar anmain' of the Irish sepulchral inscriptions, and the `gibbidaed der saule' of the Northumbrian stones'.|
Macalister/1949, 156: `Theologically, the inscription is interesting, as it shews the erector of the cross tainted with the heresy which identified the Son with the Holy Spirit'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 140: `Properabit is equivalent to preparavit (cf. Nos. 223, 233, 239, 265)'.
|Palaeography:||Westwood/1879, 11: `This inscription is entirely written in Anglo-Saxon minuscule letters, the r, s and d's being especially remarkable. In this respect a marked difference exists in comparison with the cross of Samson above described, which I should thence conclude was older than Houelt's cross'.|
Iolo Morganwg read the stone, and a drawing of it survives in manuscript, reproduced in 1893 (Allen/1893, 328). The reading is full of errors and was annotated by Allen.
Rhys/1899, 154: `The beginnings of the lines have been chipped off, except the first, which is probably complete, and begins with ninomine for in nomine. The initial blunder arose probably from the inscriber having first made the five perpendiculars of inn and then carelessly joining the two first, so that he made what should have been in into ni. There is a mark of contraction over the di; the et is a conjoint character, and it is followed by a small [capital-Lambda], which on being examined with a candle was seen to have a short tag which made it into F. Above it is a mark which I take to indicate that the F stands for FILI: the inscriber would seem to have accidentally omitted that word, so he made it good so far as room and symmetry allowed. Westwood erroneously represents the et as made up of two separate letters, one of which seems to cover the space taken up by the small F. In the last two lines the s's are of the rounded kind, but reversed, and the last of all is adorned with two points. The r in patris is joined to the following i; the n's in santdi anc have their first perpendicular prolonged downwards below the level of the second, while the n in anima is more like an h. The spelling eus for eius is probably due to carelessness.
 This is given by E. Donovan in his South Wales, vol. i, p. 343. ---ED.' (See also Rhys/1905, 29--30).
Macalister/1949, 156: `The initial IN looks more like NI, but the intention is evident. ANC is, of course, for HANC.'
Nash-Williams/1950, 140: `Round half-uncials, neatly picked in good calligraphic style, with normal contractions. Characteristic letters are the B and L with bent mainstrokes. The compendium for ET is also characteristic'.
RCAHMW/1976, 50: `The lettering is in fairly regular half-uncials without word-spacing or punctuation dots; the contracted et and the varied forms of `S' (including majuscules, reversed in the last line) are common manuscript features. The intrusive `I' before nomine is best interpreted as a blunder repeating the initial in, rather than as the abbreviation occurring on No. 910'.
Rhys/1899, 153: `The beginnings of the lines have been chipped off'.
Westwood/1879, 11: `The lower part of the basal part of the stone has been chipped off to make it more square, so that several of the letters at the beginning of the lines of the inscription are lost, but sufficient is left to allow the whole to be read'.
Macalister/1949, 156: `This was the name of a King of Glywysing (obiit A.D. 870), and the identification of the king with the erector of the cross is tempting. Rhys demurs the identification, but Sir J. Lloyd (Hist. of Wales i, pp. 275--6) does not consider the objection valid'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 140: `Houelt, son of Res, is probably identifiable with the Hywel ap Rhys mentioned by Asser and the Liber Landavensis as king of Glywysing (i.e. the district of Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire between the Rivers Tawe and Usk) in the latter part of the 9th century'.
RCAHMW/1976, 50: `Though not designated `king' in this inscription, `Houelt' is probably the Hywel ap Rhys, king of Glywysing, who in 884 was subject to Alfred of Wessex, and whose death in 886 is recorded in the chronicles; the names appear also in the genealogies of early rulers of S. Wales, though not certainly linked to earlier generations.
 W. H. Stevenson (ed.), Asser's Life of King Alfred (Oxford, new imp. 1959), c. 80.
 Brut (Pensarth), s.a. 885; Ann. Camb., s.a. 885'.
Also see Davies/1978, 18--19, 43, 56, 70, 75, 82, 88, 90 note 3, 91, 95, 98, 102, 105, 112, 180, 182, 183 for further discussion of Hywel ap Rhys.
Jackson/1953, 386, 659 note 2 and 688 discusses this name.